One of the best ways to learn about local culture is through its food and drink and, via its vineyards you can literally explore the flavors of a country from the soil up. Once a niche market in the Old World Wine regions of Europe and an option only for the well-heeled, wine tourism today can be found on nearly every continent and accessible to travelers on any budgets.
News that the Thai Wine Association has successfully registered the Thai Geographical Indication (GI) for Khao Yai wines with the Thai Intellectual Property Department has placed Thailand firmly on the map for wine tourists and Adoga, shares its list of some more wine regions, every wine lover should visit:
Old World Wine regions
- Tour cantina in Tuscany, Italy
The best Chianti wine can be found in the Tuscan town it is named after, Greve in Chianti. There is no shortage of cantina (wine cellars) to stop by and taste their produce. If you are interested in learning about wine production in the region, vineyards such as the Montefioralle Winery offer tours and wine tastings.
For an authentic Tuscan stay, head to Agoda Home Borgo Di Pietrafitta Relais, a renovated farmhouse villa with stunning views of nearby foothills and groves.
- Sample award-winning reds in the Nevşehir Province, Turkey
While Turkey may not immediately come to mind when it comes to wine production, its history in wine-making goes back around 7,000 years. Today, Turkey is renowned for its boutique vineyards producing quality white and red wines. While the Aegean coastal area has higher wine production, don’t forget to visit Kocabag Winery, located in the Nevşehir Province, famous for the fairy chimneys of Göreme. Here you can learn about Turkey’s rich wine history and sample the vineyard’s award-winning red wines.
Just a ten-minute drive away is the Grand Cappadocia Hotel, a hotel conveniently located in the center of Göreme. Enjoy the traditional Turkish furnishings and views of the city skyline from the terrace.
3. Celebrate wine culture in Burgundy, France
France is synonymous with good wine, so no wine list is complete without at least one French variety! One of the most important wine events is held in Chablis, a town in the Burgundy region, each October. All wine lovers, from novices to seasoned connoisseurs, can take part in tastings, classes and other wine-themed activities. You can also visit throughout the year to sample the wine on offer.
Hôtel Le Maxime, only 20-minutes away from Chablis, is a charming hotel overlooking the Yonne River. Historic sites, shopping and food experiences are nearby.
New World Wine regions
4. Sip on Cabernet Sauvignon in the Californian sunshine, USA
California’s year-round warm weather, long growing seasons and more than 30 different types of soil all contribute to Napa Valley’s reputation as the best producer of Cabernet Sauvignon. With over 400 wineries to choose from, you’ll be seeing red (from the bottom of your glass) in no time!
Silverado Resort and Spa is a mere 12-minutes ride away from Napa Valley’s wine trail. The full-service spa will come in handy if you need to recover from a full day (or two) of wine tastings.
5. Try the whites of ‘Down Under’ around Margaret River, Australia
The Margaret River wine country in Western Australia is home to approximately 215 vineyards and is known for its excellent Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc varieties. The region’s scenic forests, vineyards and beaches are the perfect backdrop for vineyard visits.
Cape Lodge is a private country house hotel located right in the heart of the Margaret River wine country. The property sits on its very own vineyard, so you can enjoy the beauty of the red soil and grapes growing on the vines, long after the wine cellars are closed.
6. Immerse yourself in Japan’s wine-making history in Yamanashi, Japan
Although grape cultivation has a long history in Japan, wine production didn’t kick off until the second half of the 19th century. Château Mercian, in the heart of the Yamanashi wine region, is among the most internationally recognized Japanese wineries and has its own museum, which is free to all visitors.
Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s three sacred mountains, is only about a half-an-hour away and at Fuji Kawaguchiko Onsen Hotel New Century you can enjoy views right from your hotel room.
Emerging Wine regions
7. Check out the new wine players in Ningxia, China
China has been making alcoholic beverages from grapes since the Neolithic Period, but not until the late 1970s did it enter the international wine scene. Ningxia, one of the newer wine regions in China, already boasts 100 vineyards, many already winning acclaim at international wine exhibitions. A number of these wineries are open for drop-in tastings and tours.
Yinchuan Xifujing Hotel is located in the heart of Ningxia’s capital Yunchuan. The hotel offers travelers easy access to all the sights the city has to offer, plus easy access to the vineyards nearby.
- Drive through the scenic Khao Yai wine region, Thailand
Just a two-hour drive away from Bangkok, Khao Yai enjoys cooler climate at 350 meters above sea level and diverse soil types that produce a light and fruity Shiraz. The GranMonte Asoke Valley Winery is one of the go-to wineries in the region for a tour and has received Tourism Authority of Thailand’s award for Agritourism four years in a row.
Just a short drive away from the Asoke Valley vineyards is Town Square Suites by Toscana Valley, an Italian villa-themed property with a serene atmosphere and mountain views.
- Taste Bali’s best rosé, Indonesia
Although Indonesia’s wine production industry is limited, vineyards such as Hatten Wines in Bali are thriving. The Hattan Wines estate is owned by a local Balinese family and is known for its award-winning rosé wines. Visit the vineyard’s where you can learn about the different stages of vine growth before you begin the tastings.
Eat Sleep Skate is a nearby bed and breakfast that features four different types of traditional wooden chalets and its own on-site skate park!